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Fixed Wireless Access – An Overview


If you are new to wireless, or an early adopter, one constant theme that defines wireless technology is the experience just keeps getting better!  Case in point, over the last year there has been tremendous growth in broadband connectivity in part due to the increase and availability of a new alternative, fixed wireless access (FWA).

Families across America are choosing wireless broadband for their home and office broadband connection!  In fact, more than 70 million Americans are covered by 5G home broadband today, and according to Accenture, coverage is expected to grow to hundreds of millions by 2025.

What is fixed wireless access (FWA)?

Fixed wireless access, also known as 5G home broadband, can easily support the typical American household’s broadband needs, whether your family is collectively working from home or learning remotely, visiting doctors virtually or streaming videos.

By using wireless links between fixed points — a nearby tower and an antenna on or within a  residence — 5G FWA provides high bandwidth broadband connections wirelessly instead of through a wired cable connection.  FWA accelerates the delivery of broadband service to your neighborhood and eliminates the need for deployment directly to your home, which can reduce the initial cost of establishing last-mile connectivity by as much as 40%.

What are the benefits of FWA?

  1. Reduced connectivity costs: FWA decreases the need for physical infrastructure required to provide reliable internet. And, as a result, it’s a clear alternative to other forms of broadband internet in areas that are too difficult or expensive to access.
  2. Deploys quickly: Without the need for vast physical infrastructure, it is easier for Americans to connect. New users can access broadband through simple self-installation, instead of requiring time-intensive traditional wired installation.
  3. Provides a fast connection: 5G home broadband services’ downstream speeds easily support multiple users actively engaged online whether they be working, learning, visiting with doctors, friends, or simply watching videos.

Why use FWA?

Primarily, FWA is bringing connections to Americans in remote areas where there were previously none and is a catalyst for addressing the digital divide. Second, increasingly, Americans are leveraging FWA as a cost effective broadband alternative for the connected home.

Some of these benefits include reducing energy use with smart thermostats, increased home security through remote monitoring, and even reducing insurance bills through smart devices that detect a water leak.

The Bottom Line

The right mix of broadband technologies, which include 5G home broadband and other wireless technologies, are a key part of the solution in bringing broadband to all houses. The next step is increasing the amount of spectrum available for future commercial use so that 5G broadband can reach even more households. Learn more about the need for a spectrum pipeline.